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Poker Strategy | Omaha Poker Strategy

Omaha 8 – Playing the Flop, Part One

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Many people think the secret to success in Omaha High Low (also known as Omaha 8 or Better) is hitting your card or avoiding getting outdrawn on the river. While this certainly plays a significant role, the truth of the matter is that being a winning Omaha 8 player comes down to the starting hands you play and the flops you get. After the dealer has laid out the flop, you know over ¾ of your hand. That's a lot of information and it's best that you know how to proceed.

Let's say you are playing in a low limit Omaha High Low cash game and have a great starting hand of A-A-2-3. Six players see a flop of K-J-7. You are last to act but the only hand you have is an over pair (often not that good in Omaha) and a back door low draw. There is a bet and four calls when it gets to you. Should you call or fold here? This is the type of question an Omaha High Low player needs to know the answer to ahead of time and the best way is to look at the three different types of flops you can get. In this article, we're going to look at the two easiest ones to evaluate, missing completely or hitting the flop hard.

#1 – Missing the Flop Completely

If you have a hand like A-2-3-6 with the ace suited in clubs and the flop comes Q-Q-J rainbow, your decision is easy. You fold as soon as a bet has been made. If you have four high cards like K-Q-J-10 and the flop comes 2-3-4, again your decision is easy. However, what about a hand like A-A-K-Q when the flop comes 2-2-3? You have a very good two pair with no low draw. Should you call here? The answer is more often than not, fold. You are only playing for half the pot and there is a good chance you are drawing very thin for that half of the pot (anyone with a 2 will beat you and there are numerous draws out there that will beat you as well). If the flop doesn't hit you, fold. Don't make excuses to chase and ignore the times where the miracle cards would have come and you would have scooped the pot.

#2 – When You Hit the Flop Hard

If you have that same A-2-3-6 hand from above and the flop comes 4-7-K all clubs, you have the nut low draw and the nut flush. If you were playing Hold Em, you would probably have a good argument for slow playing. In Omaha 8, slow playing is rarely a good decision because people almost always have some type of draw and will call bets. What you should do here is relatively easy. If you are first to act, you bet. If someone has bet in front of you, you raise.

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